There is an “emerging view” amongst British businesspeople and “thoughtful politicians” that Britain should agree a transitional deal with the European Union, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has said. This would avoid a “cliff edge” that would see Britain falling onto WTO rules when trading with the EU, meaning high tariffs on imports and exports between Britain and the EU.
Speaking to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, Mr Hammond said: “There is an emerging view among business, among regulators and among thoughtful politicians . . . that having a longer period to manage the adjustment between now . . . and where we get to . . . would be generally helpful for creating a smoother transition and [create] less risks to disruption.”
Commenting, Stephen Kinnock MP, supporter of Open Britain, said:
“It’s encouraging to see that Philip Hammond understands the need for a transitional deal to stop Britain falling into a hard, destructive Brexit that would take our economy over a cliff edge.
“There is a growing consensus that agreeing a new trading relationship between Britain and Europe may take much longer than the two years specified by Article 50. Not signing a transitional arrangement would mean punishing tariffs which would hit British businesses and raise prices in the shops.
“Recent polling has shown that people, even many Leave voters, did not vote for a Brexit that would leave us poorer.”
Notes to editors:
Mr Hammond’s remarks are reported here: https://www.ft.com/content/3dd462a0-c079-11e6-81c2-f57d90f6741a
Polling by YouGov for Open Britain has shown that voters, including half of Leave voters, are not willing to be any worse off as a result of Brexit: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/10/poll-public-will-not-accept-brexit-worse-off-tim-farron-ukip-lib-dem-yougov